Ed Williams: social media manager del Bath Rugby Club

Ed Williams, social media manager Bath RugbyHace unos días os anunciaba que iba a reactivar mi blog tras unas semanas de stand by. Llegó la hora: hoy os traigo una entrevista desde Inglaterra. El entrevistado: Ed Williams, social media manager del Bath Rugby Club, con un primer equipo muy potente y competitivo, en el que es uno de los deportes favoritos de los ingleses. De hecho, si un sábado de competición paseas cerca del estadio (por ejemplo, por Pulteney Bridge), encontrarás a mucha gente vistiendo la camiseta del club. La deria por el fútbol en España podría equipararse a lo que sienten los ingleses con el rugby.

Ed Williams siente este deporte – como podréis descubrir a través de la entrevista – e intenta que con su trabajo los fans lo disfruten al máximo. ¿Cómo gestiona el equipo de rugby de Bath su presencia en la red? Espero que os parezca interesante lo que Williams nos cuenta [lo he dejado en inglés porque creo que se entiende fácil, cualquier cosa, ¡no dudéis en preguntar!]

What does rugby means for you? How could you explain to someone who has never seen any match?

I’ve followed Rugby Union since I was 8, and played until I went to University, so it has been a big part of my life for 21 years. When I started working at Bath Rugby almost 6 years ago, it was almost the ‘dream’ job as I got paid for working in an environment I really enjoy being involved in. Rugby in a nutshell is 2 teams of 15 guys trying to get an egg spaced ball from one end of the pitch to the other without passing the ball forward at the same time smashing lumps out of each other!!!

What does being social media manager of Bath Rugby Team means for you?

When I first started at Bath Rugby I was the kit manager, so looked after all the players’ & playing staffs’ training and match kit, transporting kit and equipment all over the country and Europe to games, and generally getting wet and cold at training sessions. When I was offered the role of ‘Social Media Manager’ I jumped at the chance, as I was already a regular user on Twitter and Facebook, and to be given another opportunity to get paid for doing a job I did as a hobby was too good to miss!! I have been lucky enough to be given the opportunity to almost single handedly shape the direction the Club are taking with Social Media and that excites me hugely, as before I started we used social media, but not to its full potential.

How Bath Rugby Team use social networks? Why?

Our 3 main Social Media Channels that we use at the moment are twitter (@bathrugby), Facebook (Bath Rugby) and Bath Rugby TV (BRtv). We also have our own website (www.bathrugby.com) which is our main source of information for our fans, if they need to know any cold hard facts, about the team, where to buy tickets and the online shop, then they will tend to head there first.

Facebook is a means to provide information to our fans with a small amount of interaction, but also we use it to drive traffic towards our website, so we’ll put a link to a match report on Facebook and ask people’s opinions of the game, but they’ll be linked to www.bathrugby.com to read the report.

Twitter is the ‘fun’ social media site, I use it to interact with our fans, so if they have question, I will do my best to get them the answer, even if it’s not what they want to hear!! I ask them for their opinions and we do competitions, last week we gave away tickets, and also we put stuff out there which is totally unrugby related. The biggest response we have had from a tweet is asking fans to name their top 5 chocolate bars!!!

We put out 3 BRtv videos a week, on Monday we do a review of the weekend’s game, Wednesday we do a player profile, looking at a player and what he does away from the club and on Friday we do a preview of the weekend’s upcoming game. This gives the fans another angle to get ‘closer’ to the Club and the players.

Do you think it’s important to have a social media strategy? Why?

It’s extremely importantly to have some form of social media strategy, otherwise you have no idea what you are going to do, when you are going to do it and it can come across as very sporadic and cluttered. I have a detailed plan of what I need to do each day, and I tend to follow it very closely unless there is some breaking news or something we need to get across to the supporters quickly then its just a case of reshuffling the order that day, or dropping an item.

What do you usually do as a social media manager?

I can regularly be found on Twitter and Facebook, making sure that we are up-to-date with everything. Planning on what we are going to use in the future and answering any questions that have been asked. My favourite job on match day is tweeting during the game, so that the people who can’t make it know what the score is in real time via Twitter. We also have an iPhone app which gives out ‘push notifications’ during games to keep our iPhone user fans up-to-date as well, which is linked to Twitter.

How many people work in your department?

In our Marketing & Communications department we have 7 members of staff, but it’s just me who runs Social Media for Bath Rugby, however I do run BRtv in conjunction with one other member of staff.

When did you start using social media? Why?

As a club we first started using Facebook & Twitter in 2008/09, however it has really started to take off over the last year or so. It’s a great way to communicate with our fans on a fun and practical level, and it shows that the club want to know more about the fans and it gives the fans a chance to interact with the Club on a level they have not been able to do before.

What would be for you 3 examples of good practices in social media? And the opposite: what would be for you 3 examples of bad practices in social media?

Good

1)   Always engage with your followers, if someone asks you a question, positive or negative, always try and give them an answer. Social Media is there so people can be social, so make the most of it!!

2)   Give Social Media the time and effort it deserves, you can’t just spend 5 minutes a day on it, media doesn’t go to sleep, so be prepared to be engaging with people even when you are out of the office or at home.

3)   Find your ‘tone of voice’ and stick to it, that way people feel that they are talking to the same person ‘behind the typing’ and they feel that they almost know you on a personal level. If you chop and change the style you write messages it confuses people, and just comes across as a bit amateurish. Don’t be fake.

Bad

1)   Do Not Ignore People, if you constantly ignore them then they will tend to unfollow you.

2)   Don’t be too pushy, people don’t like having sales pitches shoved down their throat, they will get very turned off very quickly.

3)   Do view Social Media as a short term gain, it is here to stay, so make sure you plan for the long term future.

If you had to follow just 3 twitter accounts, which ones would you choose?

@davidflatman – David is one of our players, who has played for England, and has a column in a National Newspaper, The Independent on Sunday, and a few local publications. He is relatively new to Twitter, but is one of the funniest people you’ll follow.

@rugbydump – run by a guy called Grant Constable, and he posts lots of awesome rugby clips, funny rugby clips and just plain stupid rugby clips. Definitely worth a follow.

@Swannyg66 – Graeme Swan is an English Cricketer who has a great sense of humour and seems to spend all day on twitter whenever he isn’t playing cricket.

Thanks very much Ed Williams!😉

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